The true cost of unvaccinated travel

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Travel insurance

Measles continues to make headlines, with a cruise ship having been quarantined off the coast of Caribbean Island St Lucia after a case was diagnosed on board.

The ship is reportedly Freewinds ─ a vessel owned and run by the Church of Scientology.

As we all know by now, measles is highly contagious and, as such, quarantine was a necessary measure. "We thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship," confirmed the island’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Merlene Frederick-James.

Reports of the quarantined cruise ship follow news of ongoing measles outbreaks worldwide, including in the US, where vaccination is being enforced in unvaccinated communities to slow the spread, in Venezuela, where there has been an uptick in vaccine preventable diseases, and in Australia, where, according to health organisations, infected, non-vaccinated travellers are largely to blame.

As well as being aware of the areas and countries where the disease is wreaking havoc, it is also important that travellers know whether their travel insurance will cover them should they fall ill.

According to industry experts, travellers that are not vaccinated may invalidate their travel insurance. “Unvaccinated travellers are at very high risk of measles exposure and transmission. Additionally, those who fail to vaccinate could be out of pocket for any treatment they require overseas,” said Natalie Ball, Director, Comparetravelinsurance.com.au. “Unvaccinated travellers face all manner of health risks along with thousands of dollars in medical fees, not to mention lost travel expenses.”

In short, travellers should vaccinate themselves against the disease for a number of reasons, including their health and the health of others, and avoiding potentially substantial medical fees.